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      Ariel Cycle

      Name: Ariel Cycle
      Make: Starley & Hillman
      Year: 1871

      This style of cycle is an “Ariel” design penny-farthing made by James Starley during the 1870s.

      The frame and wheels of this cycle are made from steel; this makes it a very heavy machine weighing in at about 50lbs. It has tangent spokes adjustable at the hub and solid rubber tyres. The brake is operated by twisting the handle-bars; this pulls a cable taught, which operates a roller onto the rear wheel and aids slowing-down.

      This design of bicycle has been referred to by several names over the years such as: Penny Farthing, High-Wheeler, and Ordinary-Bicycle. The idea of the penny-farthing’s large front wheel was to cover a longer distance with each revolution of the pedal. The pedals are directly connected to the driving wheel, making it quite difficult to control the steering.


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      When you visit the Museum, not only can you marvel at these spectacular feats of British engineering, you can experience travelling through the sound barrier on our 4D Land Speed Record Simulator!



      Bring the curriculum to life!

      Coventry Transport Museum's interactive exhibitions make the perfect venue for school visits in Coventry.

      We offer a wide range of sessions for school groups, all 'Learning Outside The Classroom' quality assured. 


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      Join us in celebrating a unique transport heritage

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